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Will a 24 volt welder kill me? input 115V output 20-70 A

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Terry Moushari, Dec 22, 2003.

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  1. Is there a possibility of getting electrocuted to death by a 24V AC portable
    welder. Sometime the pavement is wet when I'm welding alone and I'm worried.
    Sometimes the glove I use is too thin not sure what will happens when my
    glove rips, for example. Will I be electrocuted and die as a result?
    Terry

    Here's the welder http://tinyurl.com/2r6fe
     

  2. The link claims the maximum open circuit voltage is 37V. At 37V it is
    relatively difficult even to sustain a shock that you can feel much less be
    harmed by. I wouldn't be excessively worried about getting electrocuted.
    You could deliberately grab both electrodes tightly with sweaty hands and
    you wouldn't likely get hurt (though under these circumstances you might
    feel a little something). If you are concerned about something like a
    misconnected ground wire or somesuch like that, you might just test for
    voltage with your DMM between the output electrodes and the wet pavement.
    I'm not too familiar with welders but I suspect they normally have fully
    isolated outputs.

    Be much more concerned about inhaling toxic fumes, getting burned, suffering
    eye damage (due to the intense light, UV radiation, or flying molten metal),
    lighting something unintentional on fire, or exercising otherwise extremely
    bad judgment (ex: don't weld a carrying handle onto a full natural gas
    bottle).
     
  3. Thinker

    Thinker Guest

    See this for more info http://www.esainspection.net/flash/02-04-fl.pdf

    Welders are not toys and using them in improper locations can be dangerous.
     
  4. Well Terry,

    It's not very likely but it *is* possible. That welder inevitable came with
    papers and/or booklets including warnings and safety precautions. You'd
    better follow them, especially if you don't understand the working of that
    welder.

    IMHO you need a basic understanding of the welder to work with it. So for
    short:
    The welder has to cables. The welding arch is kept alive by the current that
    flows from one cable to the other. The same current may kill you when it
    flows through your body.

    Current flow is caused by a voltage and has to flow through a resistance
    (the load). The higher the voltage and/or the lower the resistance, the
    higher the current. When welding, the welding arch is the load. This has a
    very low resistance so the current will by high. When you are the load (so
    to speak, don't try this for real) things are different. If it's a bright
    summer day and you get the cable ends with one hand each, some current will
    flow through your body. But the voltage is not above 37V (according to the
    specifications) and your dry skin has a high resistance. The current will
    be so low, you will hardly feel a thing if anything at all. If you do the
    same on a rainy day, soaking wet, it may be fatal. That's because a wet skin
    has a low resistance so the current will increase to fatal hights. (That's
    still a thousend times lower then the current through a welding arch.) Once
    again: "Don't try this at home."

    So I bet one of the safety precautions you should have read, is: "Wear
    insulating gloves."

    And the wet pavement? Has nothing to do with it. Any danger from that has to
    do with another current. *If* you did not use protective ground for your
    welder *and* if the welder has a leakage from primary to secundary *and* if
    your work is grounded *then* you may get 110V mains in your hand(s). So a
    current may try to flow from your hand to your feet (and to the pavement.)
    It's not likely to happen and less likely to be dangerous, especially as you
    always use a mains outlet with protective ground. Eh?

    Keep it safe.

    petrus
     
  5. Louis Bybee

    Louis Bybee Guest

    This is excellent advice!

    While it would be possible under the right conditions to receive a fatal
    shock with the welder, the fact that the voltage is lower than what is
    usually perceived as "dangerous" leaves a certain amount of subjectivity to
    the equation. Because you do an action with a piece of equipment a number of
    times, and don't get shocked may not mean it's a safe action. It could
    indicate that the circumstances haven't aligned the necessary conditions for
    a shock to take place.

    I've read studies that indicate 10 ma @ 30 v under ideal conditions can
    defib a human heart. When I read a study like that I always wonder who they
    got to be the test subject. :-]

    Once while evaluating the safety procedures on a skids project it was called
    to my attention that on one skid some of the portable cords being used by
    craftsmen were burning up. Further investigation verified that was the case,
    and only on one specific skid. The cords were reduced to a charred gooey
    mess. It took a while, but the common denominator was a welder with a faulty
    ground clamp. Any cord providing power to someone working on that skid where
    the ground conductor of the cord became common with the skid frame (metal
    power tool laid on a metal surface etc.) lost the cord occasionally. Because
    the issue was sporadic, and didn't happen predictably it wasn't easy to
    troubleshoot.

    Reading the cautionary instructions, and following them seems like the best
    course of action to reduce the likelihood of an unpleasant accident.

    Louis--
    *********************************************
    Remove the two fish in address to respond
     
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